Updated: 9:30 a.m.
A 17-year-old sought in connection with a mass shooting at a popular East Norriton bowling alley Saturday night — which left 29-year-old Frank Wade dead and four of his relatives injured — has turned himself in, authorities said.
Jamel Barnwell, who faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated assault, surrendered late Sunday night.
“This was a crowded bowling alley,” said Steele. “There were 50 to 75 patrons. There were also a number of young children among those patrons in this bowling alley.”
The mass shooting at Our Town Alley, formerly known as Facenda Whitaker Lanes, has shaken community members, who described the 24-hour spot on Swede Road as a popular destination for kids and families, and a place for people of all ages to relax and play. The facility expanded to include laser tag and an arcade.
“This senseless act of violence at a family entertainment location in our community is unacceptable,” the Norristown Area School District Board of Directors said in a statement. “For years, this location has been the home of the NAHS Eagles bowling team and a first job to several of our students. It is a place to unwind and enjoy spending time with your family.”
The school district is offering support for students and families affected by the shooting, and suggested they reach out to guidance counselors and principals.
Law enforcement say Barnwell entered Our Town Alley at approximately 6:39 p.m. Within two minutes, Barnwell handed his phone to two companions and at 6:42 p.m., Steele said an altercation began to unfold between Barnwell and Wade.
Wade was a father and an aspiring chef who planned to open up a food truck, his wife told NBC10.
He was visiting the bowling alley with family from Philadelphia at the time of the shooting, Steele said. Four of Wade’s family members were injured as Barnwell shot a .45 caliber handgun with an extended magazine 15 times.
“He also shoots Mr. Wade while he is on the ground,” said Steele, who added it is unclear if Barnwell and Wade knew each other.
The district attorney said Barnwell, whose last known address is on Beverly Avenue in Upper Darby, is not allowed to legally carry a firearm.
The four other victims are 19-year-old Ahmir Simmons, who received a shot to the abdomen, 21-year-old Yahnirr Brooks, who was shot in the leg, 26-year-old Robert Oliver, who was shot in the back, and 31-year-old Shamir Jones, who was also shot in the leg. The four family members remain stable in an area hospital, according to Steele.
Barnwell’s cell phone was recovered at the scene, which included selfies of him posing with a .45 caliber handgun.
Steele, who said he was alarmed by the photos, issued a warning to any other people considering picking up a weapon.
“I hope people at some point get the message, not to commit murder in Montgomery County because we solve our murders,” said Steele.
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